I baked a 100% rye flour version of Benjamina Ebuehi's Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake yesterday and it is everything you'd expect from a cake. It is from her book The New Way to Cake, the chocolate notes are deep, the crumb perfectly moist and the salted Tahini glaze? Something I didn't know until now that I needed it in my life. The tahini rounds off the sweetness of the sugar in the glaze. Fragrant sesame notes come to life when you balance the aromas with a generous pinch of salt. It is so good.
There are many reasons to love The New Way To Cake – the choice of beautiful signature cakes, the minimalist book design, the naturally illuminated photos by Holly Wulff Petersen – but I was initially drawn to her celebration of the flavors – hibiscus, Chamomile, citrus and chocolate all represent in a unique and delightful way.
A little bit more about Benjamina
She is a London-based writer, baker, food stylist and recipe developer. Since joining The Great British Bake Off a few years ago, she has been involved in some great projects. You can follow Benjamina on Instagram. She also works as an ambassador for Luminary Bakery (read about it!) And is a co-founder of The Sister Table. And if your current use of Tahini has caught your attention, take a look at the Necatrine, Tahini & Hazelnut Pavlova on their blog. Or this Tahini muesli.
The new way to the cake
Before we turn to the Chocolate Fudge & Tahini Cake, a few comments about The New Way to Cake. The book is 160 pages long and has a softback with 60 cake recipes. It has a first class feeling and would be a nice gift for every baker in your life. The main sections are nuts & caramel, spices, chocolate, citrus, flowers and fruit. The two recipes I want to bake next: hibiscus buttermilk cake and then a chocolate guinness bundle with yoghurt icing.
Benjamina's chocolate fondant & tahini cake
The two main components are a cocoa-based chocolate cake padded with coffee and the salted Tahini frosting / icing. You can create each component one day in advance if needed. Although I should note that I generally like to freeze cakes on the day of serving. Keep the cake covered until then (after it has completely cooled) and whip the glaze again before use if necessary.
A rye flour swap
I made a few changes to Benjamina's cake out of necessity (different pan / alternative flour) and the good news is that it's baked wonderfully. All-purpose flour can still be hard to come by right now, and I have plenty of rye flour ready. I suspected a rye flour swap would be good here – so I chose it. 100% rye. Didn't hold me back. So good! I think people are concerned that an aggressive wholemeal flour swap will result in hard, dry cakes and muffins. And honestly, that can often be the case. But that worked well – check out the piece below! So soft. If you're worried, take all-purpose flour, or you can make half rye, half all-purpose flour. But at the interface of rye, coffee and cocoa, something really beautiful happens.
Let's talk about pans
As mentioned above, I didn't have the three 6-inch cake tins that Benjamina used to make the Stunner cake shown in her book (above). But you all know that I have an endless collection of Bundt pans. So I used that. I baked the dough in a single 9-inch bundt pan. Butter cream wouldn't work with the fluted cake, so I made a salted Tahini icing that I could pour in bun shape instead of the Tahini butter cream version in the book about the cake. No bundt pan? In my opinion, you can get away with baking in a single 13×9 pan or two 8-inch rounds (of course, adjust the timing). One long way to say don't be put off if you don't have the "right" pan. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
And one last little side note: I tried to regularly add weekly favorite links to my newsletter – articles, books, cookbooks that I look forward to, recipes to try, products that I love, or new discoveries in general. Instead of listing them here in "Favorite Lists" on the website, you can get them there along with the new recipes that I bring out. I sent newsletters once a week on Saturday morning. xx -h.